(Reuters) – Latino workers at a Tennessee meat processing plant have reached a $1.2 million settlement in a lawsuit over a 2018 immigration raid in which they were “targeted by federal agents” because of their ethnicity, an immigration advocacy group said on Monday.
About 100 workers who were detained during the raid will receive a total of $550,000, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) said.
The federal government will also pay $475,000 to six individual plaintiffs to resolve claims including excessive force and unlawful arrest under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The settlement includes $150,000 in attorneys fees and expenses.
In February 2019, the NILC and several non-profit groups filed a lawsuit alleging that armed U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officers “illegally targeted” Latino workers in the raid, used excessive force and made false arrests.
“While the settlement cannot heal the wounds caused by the violent 2018 raid, we are pleased with this hard-fought vindication of their rights and the power of community organizing,” said Michelle Lapointe, deputy legal director at NILC.
The DHS and IRS did not immediately respond to requests from Reuters for comment outside business hours.
The agreement was approved late on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.